- "I'd know better than to waste my time digging one six foot hole than six one foot holes, that's just murder math."
- — Frieda Berlin to Alex Vause and Lolly Whitehill following the murder of Aydin Bayat.
Frieda Berlin is a main character and an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is also a member of the "Golden Girls" group who befriends Red in Season Two. In Season 6 and Season 7 she’s in B-Block, “Florida”, of Maximum Security. She is portrayed by Dale Soules.
Frieda has an abrasive, "bad grandma" personality. She is blunt, but she is loyal and had remained on Red's side until season six when she betrayed Red.
Frieda is highly practical and has an encyclopedic knowledge spanning many subjects, especially those concerned with survival and poisons. Despite her age, she is still a hardened criminal.
In the later seasons, she showed a more treacherous, weak side by selling out her friends, attempting suicide, being manipulative and hiding away.
Frieda is an older woman who is always seen wearing her brown hair in a ponytail. The roots of her hair are grey. Like some of the other Golden Girls, she wears a button up uniform rather than the plain T-shirt most other inmates have. She has an octopus tattoo partially visible on her neck.
Due to her charges and age, it can be deduced that Frieda could have a life sentence.
For a list of episodes featuring Frieda's flashbacks, see here.
In "Fuck, Marry, Frieda" she is shown to have been in a Girl Scout-like scouting group with high merits, while living in a survivalist household.
Her father believes that war between the Soviets and the US is inevitable, using flawed methods to reinforce his confirmation bias. He and Frieda routinely go camping together, which usually turns into a survival exercise -- Frieda is left alone with minimal supplies, and has to find her way home and hunt her own food along the way. Frieda manages to find her way home but has obtained cuts from leeches in a lake.
Frieda reveals in "40 OZ of Furlough" that she cut off her husband's penis with a butcher knife that "wasn't even sharp."
In Season Four, she also mentions that she killed four people in one year. She also killed a cop with his own gun but she stated she doesn't remember if she was caught or not.
In Season Six, it is revealed that Frieda used to assist Carol Denning with running a contraband market in the library of the Maximum Security facility. One day, they were approached by the older sister and rival of Carol, Barbara Denning, who confronted Carol and Frieda about selling mutually agreed banned items for the respective blocks. After the encounter, the entire stash Frieda and Carol had stored went missing. At first, Carol thought it was Barbara who had stolen it but it was revealed to have been given over to an officer by Frieda, who, in exchange, moved her to minimum security. ("Look Out for Number One")
In Season Five, when other inmates were digging through her things, they found a postcard from someone named Bones. When pressed, she said it was short for Skin And Bones, and that he used to work at the prison taking care of the swimming program before they got rid of it. After poisoning Piscatella, she said she got the poisonous plants from Bones, and that they shared a "love of botany."
At some point before Bayley's employment, Frieda was at the prison. While working outside, Bayley's friends drive past and throw eggs at the working prisoners, one of which being Frieda. She then turns around and shouts at them and after, Wade Donaldson pushes her aggressively ("The Animals").
Frieda and the other Golden Girls befriend Red and help her with cleaning out the greenhouse. Frieda, Taslitz and Irma go and scare the Latinas in order to get Red's supplies for her feast which Gloria was withholding.
Later in the season, Red accuses Frieda of betraying her by telling Vee about the tunnel. Frieda reacts fretfully, unaware why Red is threatening her.
After Taslitz mistakenly stabs another inmate instead of Vee, Frieda encourages Red to play it to her advantage by explaining to Vee that it was a planned warning shot instead of a mistake.
Frieda expresses her disappointment at Red's decision to cement the tunnel shut, and begins to scheme other ways to make money, such as renting out the cornfield "as a motel room". Later in the season, she becomes an avid fan of Suzanne's science fiction story, "Time Hump Chronicles". She also expresses her distaste at Norma's cult following, especially when they meet in her and Leanne's cube.
She finds the body that Alex and Lolly have hidden in the greenhouse. When they try to make excuses she tells them she's bored and asks what their plan is. She convinces them it's better to dig "six one-foot holes" than "one six-foot hole", and assists them in chopping up the body and burying it in the garden. She keeps the keys taken out of Aydin's uniform as a thank you, which she later gives to Red.
When Lolly's behavior becomes erratic and appears that she may tip off the guards about the body, Frieda decides it is in their best interests to kill her as well using oleander leaves, but Alex and Red won't let her. When the body is found, she seems equally offended and confused that she wasn't named as a suspect.
In this season, Frieda exposes her true girl scout skills that she was forced to grow to learn in her childhood ("Fuck, Marry, Frieda"). During the riot, she reveals the secret den that she has been working on for the length of time she has been at Litchfield. She goes down there to escape the chaos and decides to invite her friends - certain members of Red's family and circle (Red, Yoga Jones, Gina, Norma, and DeMarco) and Gloria - to stay down there with her by slipping them all directions. At first, they aren't terribly impressed with the small room, due to the fact that it's quite tight with all of them there, but once Frieda opens the door revealing the old pool, their tones change.
When Gina discovers Piscatella and the inmates he has tied up, who are the rest of their social circle excluding Morello, Frieda helps her free them. Whilst Gina lures him towards the den, Frieda shoots him with a poisonous dart, knocking him out. The group then ties him up on a chair in the pool and the girls he had captured are invited to stay with them.
Eventually, the group hears the riot police storming the prison. They all argue about whether it's best to stay where they are or go up and surrender. Eventually, some of them leave, but Frieda, Red, Blanca, Piper, Alex, Suzanne, Black Cindy, Taystee, Nicky, and Gloria remain in the pool. The officers are tipped off to their location and the ten women link arms, waiting for what will happen. The doors are blown in and the episode fades to orange, leaving their fate as a cliffhanger until the next season.
Frieda has been moved to Maximum Security following the events of Season Five. She is revealed to have been originally from Max, having been part of selling contraband with another inmate, Carol, back in the early '80s. A short time after a run-in with Carol's sister, Barbara Denning, who was their rival in another cell block, their stash went missing and their hideout was trashed. Frieda hypothesized that Barb took their stash, but when Carol and some allies go after the rival, it's revealed that Frieda secretly cut a deal with the warden where she ratted on Carol for transfer to minimum-security prison.
In the present, she makes repeated attempts to kill herself, worried that Carol will seek revenge for her betrayal. Red talks her out of it numerous times. She bleaches her hair, makes her self shaky and puts felt pen under her eyes to make her look old. She ends up betraying Red by telling the federal investigators of Red's involvement with the riots, and even letting Red take the blame for the bunker. She also rats out Taystee originally just to be kept in AdSeg. However, Frieda is transferred to the relatively peaceful and civilized B-Block of Max, known as "Florida", populated by trans inmates, the elderly, and those with mental health concerns, but not without Carol catching a glimpse of her along the way.
Frieda becomes paranoid that Carol is going to pay someone to kill her in Florida. She avoids going out into the yard and stays inside in order to never come in contact with anyone from C or D-block. She becomes friends with Suzanne and even has her request to be her roommate so that nobody else can be. She even manipulates Suzanne to not join kickball, go outside or mix with people outside B-Block, saying they will kill her for her spot. Suzanne realizes Frieda is a liar and Frieda apologizes and tells her that Carol and Barbara are trying to kill her, not Suzanne. ("Chocolate Chip Nookie")
Frieda allows Suzanne to investigate fellow inmates in B-Block. She watches as Suzanne and Tiffany interrogate Gail Abbot and scoffs. At the end of the interrogations, Suzanne debriefs and says they have solid alibis (despite a crime not being committed yet). Suzanne mentions a rich lady who has 4 radios and limited edition Doritos which Frieda goes and sees. Frieda goes to the woman, Gladys Watkins' cell and wants to trade (as a ruse), offering homemade prison hooch for 3 oatmeal pies, claiming commissary ran out. She tastes the hooch, calling it smooth and agreeing to give Frieda the pies. Frieda asks how did she get so much money and she replies that her perverted uncle died and she gained his inheritance. Frieda investigates by asking her if she was left any property and then apologizes for prying, saying she wanted to make conversation.
She then says that Original Doritos are the only good ones, which Gladys rejects, stating that Smoked Chili are the best. Frieda calls bullshit, which causes Gladys to say "bulltrue", C-Block's word. This reveals to Frieda that she is the hitwoman. Gladys goes on describing the Doritos as having a kick. Frieda asks can she get a bag thrown in, and Gladys agrees, saying Frieda's hooch was smooth. When she turns around to get a bag, Frieda pulls out a wooden shiv and asks her if she really thought she'd believe the Uncle Eddie story. Gladys readies her fists saying that it was worth a shot. Surprisingly, Frieda slits her wrist and runs out of the cell screaming that Gladys is trying to kill her. B-Block inmates run over to check on her ("Well This Took a Dark Turn")
She is seen on Taystee's trial bus and Taystee looks at her, tutting.
Cindy also glared at her. On her way back, she is strangled by Red, who breaks down crying asking why she betrayed her and that they were friends. ("Double Trouble")
Suzanne asks Frieda if she's allowed to ask around about Taystee and how her trial went because she feels guilty for being a bad friend and thinks Taystee's mad at her. Frieda allows but Suzanne is concerned for Frieda, who assures her that the traps work. Later, Sophia arrives at Frieda's cell and tells her she's getting out. Frieda congratulates her and asks her what she wants, sounding rude. Sophia is offended and states she was going to let Frieda have first pick on her items, but says Frieda's bitchy and is leaving until Frieda apologizes saying she's in a mood these days. She asks for anything with Isobutane or Vinyl Chloride. Sophia doesn't know the compounds. Frieda says she has been sleeping on the stool as she can't be too careful. Sophia is confused as Frieda asks what she has planned. Sophia tells her about James Baldwin and the quote that helped her live. Frieda tells her she wishes to be able to outside but can't, and disproves Sophia's quote. Sophia leaves and sarcastically calls her a "cranky ass,"Sophia chants "Give us, us free" as she leaves the prison. ("Be Free")
Frieda and Suzanne are preparing traps when Tiffany enters and sets it off. Tiffany reminds Suzanne about kickball but Suzanne is worried for Frieda and states she wont leave her untilFrieda is extremely rash and tells her that they were never friends Pennsatucky is extremely angered and tells Frieda to take it back that she's not Suzanne's friend. Frieda continues and admits that her nature is to use and manipulate people for survival. Suzanne is saddened.("Be Free")
Frieda is lucky as during the kickball game, Carol and Barb were meant to kill her but end up killing each other. She eats her pudding in peace.("Be Free")
Cindy is bunked with Frieda, who doesn't clean her room and has a lot of 'junk' much to the annoyance of Cindy. She is called a mole person by fellow inmates.
On arrival of Red, Frieda accidentally tips her tray and immediately apologises saying she was just looking out for herself. However, Red doesn't remember her and says that it's fine and asks her to sit beside her. Red begins telling her the egg plant joke. Later, they both go to Frieda's cell where Red is shocked of how messy her room is. Frieda closes the door and, under a poster, she reveals to Red that she is digging a hole in the wall. This is a reference to The Shawshank Redemption. Red is baffled by the hole but pleads Frieda opens the cell's door as it stinks. Red leaves and states that she knows Frieda from somewhere, but can't put her finger on it and that she will realise someday.
Red is talking to Lorna and realises that Frieda betrayed her. She chases Frieda screaming she will kill her and Frieda locks herself in her cell, saying she will wait until Red "loses her mind again". Ryder Blake pulls Red away.
- Taslitz - Taslitz was a member of the Golden Girls group before being transferred back to max, both were likely in for murder.
- Irma Lerman - Another member of the Golden Girls group
- Jimmy Cavanaugh - Jimmy was a member of the Golden Girls group until she got compassionate release when the others were no longer able to keep her dementia a secret.
- Leanne Taylor - Frieda's bunkmate.
- Alex Vause - Frieda helps Alex and Lolly hide the body of the guard they killed in self-defense.
- Lolly Whitehill - Frieda helps Alex and Lolly hide the body of the guard they killed in self-defense.
- Piper Chapman - They become close working together for Whispers
- Galina Reznikov (former bestfriends; now questionable) - Red and Frieda once had a strong friendship and were loyal to eachother. They were both smart and knowledgable women who ran the greenhouse together. Red is one of the few women Frieda listened to and Red was concerned when Frieda tried to kill herself. However, Frieda betrayed Red. In Season 7, they become friends again because of Red's dementia.
- Gloria Mendoza
- Gina Murphy
- Erica Jones
- Anita DeMarco
- Norma Romano
- Suzanne Warren (former; Frieda used Suzanne so she couldn't have an unknown inmate, however her rude behavior ended the friendship)
- Sophia Burset - Become friends in Max
- Carol Denning (former) - Frieda and Carol ran an illegal smuggling ring in Max until Frieda ratted Carol out in order to be moved to Minimum security.
- Carmen Campos
- Desi Piscatella - attacked friends
- Marisol Gonzales - (Threatened) When Flaca refused to give Red's supplies and disrespected her, Frieda threatened her with a knife alongside her friends.
- Maria Ruiz
- Maritza Ramos - (Threatened) When Maritza refused to give Red's supplies and disrespected Frieda, Frieda threatened her with a knife alongside her friends.
- Yvonne Parker - Attacked and hurt her friends
- Carol Denning - (Enemy) Betrayed in the past.
- Barbara Denning - (Enemy) Caused a war between her and her sister
- Tiffany Doggett - Frieda was very rude to Suzanne
- Suzanne Warren - Frieda was manipulative towards Suzanne and revealed to her that she was using her for survival. This upset Suzanne, who soon after requested a bunk change.
- Galina Reznikov - (questionable) Frieda betrayed Red by telling the investigators that the bunker was Red's and that she kidnapped Piscatella. However, after Red develops dementia, she apparently doesn't remember Frieda.
- She is the first character to not be recurring in first season, before being promoted to a series regular.
- Her name suggests that she may have German origins.
- Frieda could be regarded as a former serial killer
- She thinks that Alec Baldwin is sexy in a "manly man" way. ("Be Free")
- She is credited as main cast in Season 7, despite only appearing in 4 episodes and appearing much less than characters like Tamika Ward, who are only credited as supporting cast.
- "That's right! Run, rabbit, run!"
- — Frieda
- "I understand that, but that doesn't mean the rat can open a restaurant. The health code is still the health code."
- — Frieda
- "I'm bored. What's the plan?"
- — Frieda
- "Ain't you ever killed someone before?"
- — Frieda
- "Why dig one six-foot hole when you can dig six one-foot holes? That's just murder math!"
- — Frieda
- "Are you kidding me!? Kukudio's a suspect and I'm not? I killed a cop with his own gun. Oh...wait. Did I get caught for that? I'm getting old..."
- — Frieda
- "Aren't you cute? Did you get caught up in your boyfriend's drug game? You wanna know what I did? I cut my husband's dick off with a butcher knife and it wasn't even sharp. I still dream about it. All the blood. The way it flopped around in my... fist. Best thing I ever did."
- — Frieda
- "We keep our dignity."
- — Frieda
- "News flash, ladies. These men don't wanna fuck you. They don't see you as women."
- — Frieda to Brandy Epps, Kasey Sankey and Helen Van Maele
- "All I got are enemies these days."
- — Frieda to Suzanne Warren
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|Appears||Appears||Appears||Credit Only||Appears||Credit Only||Appears|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only||Appears||Credit Only||Appears||Appears|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|
|Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only||Credit Only||Appears|